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What is a household community (Haushaltsgemeinschaft) and how is it different from a residential community (Wohngemeinschaft)?

If at least two benefit communities live together in one household, they either form a household community or residential community.

Household community


A mother with two children – one daughter (12) and one son (26) – and the son’s girlfriend (23) move into a flat together.

For the authorities, this situation means that there are two benefit communities:

  1. the mother with the 12-year-old child
  2. the son and his girlfriend

Both parties have made and had an application for benefits under Social Code II accepted.

This is an example of a household community. This means that the people are related to each other, for example. A household community is based on the idea that the people living in it share costs and benefits to a certain degree.

Residential community


A person in receipt of benefits under Social Code II moves into a room in a flat and signs a subtenancy agreement. They share a bathroom, kitchen and perhaps a communal living room with the other people living in the flat.

The authority generally refers to this as a residential community. In a residential community there are no relationships, neither familial nor marital, between the tenants. Each tenant is a benefit community in their own right.